The whole, fresh involucral bracts of cardoon, Cynara cardunculus L. (Compositae), were extracted with EtOH and an aqueous suspension of the obtained EtOH extract was partitioned successively with CHCl3, EtOAc and n-BuOH, leaving a residual water extract. All obtained extracts were evaluated for their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. The antioxidant potential was evaluated using following in vitro methods: FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power) assay, and scavenging of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. Antimicrobial activity was estimated using a microdilution technique against food-borne, mycotoxin producers and human pathogenic bacteria and micromycetes. The following bacteria were tested: Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, as well as micromycetes: Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus ochraceus, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium ochrochloron, Penicillium funiculosum, Trichoderma viride, Fusarium tricinctum and Alternaria alternata. Results showed that all extracts possessed concentration-dependent antioxidant activity. In biological assays, C. cardunculus extracts showed antimicrobial activity comparable with standard antibiotics.